What others have to say about a religious studies major:
"A Religious Studies major will significantly improve your critical thinking and writing skills. And it makes for an interesting topic during job interviews. Trust us on this one. Employers will invariably find the major fascinating." - The Princeton Review
"There is no other major on campus that combines the arts, history, philosophy, politics, global studies, language, sociology, psychology, and ethics all together like Religious Studies." - Mallory Wood '08
"Religious Studies raises questions of ethics: the foundations, the content, and the commensurability of various ethical systems.. Having more religious studies people in high places would make the world better." - Nathan Schneider, journalist, "Why the World Needs Religious Studies"
There are many special opportunities available for a Religious Studies major or minor at Saint Michael's.
As a Religious Studies major you will always have a Religious Studies professor as your academic advisor, so you get the very best advice about courses, study abroad, senior thesis topics, and careers.
A highlight of your program is that majors (and minors if they choose!) participate in the 2-part senior capstone experience of RS 310 (Religion: Theory and Method) and RS 410 (Senior Seminar). In the fall semester of senior year you take RS 310 and develop ideas for your senior thesis. You write your senior thesis in the spring semester of senior year, working closely on a specific project with one faculty member. This chance to work in close collaboration with a faculty member on your thesis is one of the high points of being a Religious Studies major.
If you are interested in studying abroad, there are many study abroad programs which have great courses on religion. Recent majors have studied religion at leading universities, such as Oxford. In the past three years, Religious Studies students have studied in Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, India, Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand, and South Africa, and many other countries. These courses can really broaden your understanding and experience of religion as a worldwide cultural force, and most of them can be counted towards your Religious Studies degree from Saint Michael’s.
Back at Saint Michael's you can get involved in internships through the department or even apply for scholarships to work on a summer research project with one professor. Religious Studies department internships provide real life work experience coupled with an academic component designed by the student and directing professor. Examples of recent internships include working at a Catholic charity while studying Catholic social teaching, and working on a local program that promotes environmental ethics while investigating the concept of environmental stewardship in world religions. In recent years several Religious Studies students have been granted competitive awards to pursue research with a faculty mentor on such diverse topics as Christianity in Russia since the end of communism, and the influence of technology on the concept of community in religious groups in the Burlington area.
A degree in Religious Studies is similar to a degree in any Humanities subject, such as Philosophy, English, or History. Careers pursued by our recent Religious Studies graduates include:
- Media Consultancy
- University Admissions Officer
- Social Work
- Graduate School in Religious Studies
- Brewing (true!)
- Law Enforcement
- Campus Ministry
- Prosecutor's Assistant
Saint Michael's Religious Studies majors have had great success in acceptance to graduate programs. Recent graduates have received advanced degrees in Religious Studies/Theology from such institutions as:
- Brown University
- University of Chicago
- Boston College
- The Catholic University of America
- University of Hawaii
- University of Kansas
Our majors have also pursued graduate studies in other disciplines, including:
- international relations
- special education
- criminal studies
- high school counseling
To contact the Department of Religious Studies:
Department of Religious Studies
Saint Michael's College
One Winooski Park, Box 183
Colchester, VT 05439